Motion for a resolution - B7-0151/2014Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the EU-Russia summit

4.2.2014 - (2014/2533(RSP))

to wind up the debate on the statements by the Council and the Commission
pursuant to Rule 110(2) of the Rules of Procedure

Charles Tannock, Marek Henryk Migalski, Ryszard Antoni Legutko, Tomasz Piotr Poręba, Ryszard Czarnecki, Adam Bielan, Paweł Robert Kowal on behalf of the ECR Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0150/2014

Procedure : 2014/2533(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected :  


European Parliament resolution on the EU-Russia summit


The European Parliament,

–       having regard to the existing Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) between the European Communities and their Member States, on the one part, and the Russian Federation, on the other part,

–       having regard to the ongoing negotiations for a new agreement providing a new comprehensive framework for EU-Russia relations, as well as to the ‘Partnership for Modernisation’ initiated in 2010,

–       having regard to its previous reports and resolutions on Russia and on EU-Russia relations,

–       having regard to the EU-Russia human rights consultations and the latest meeting, held on 28 November 2013,

–       having regard to the agreements signed and the joint statements issued at the EU-Russia Summit held in Rostov-on-Don from 31 May to 1 June 2010,

–       having regard to the joint EU-Russia statement on combating terrorism issued on 28 January 2014 after the 32nd EU-Russia summit,

–       having regard to its recommendation adopted in October 2012 on targeted sanctions against individuals involved in the death of Sergei Magnitsky, and against others responsible for serious violations of human rights and corruption in Russia,

–       having regard to Rule 110(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.     whereas the 32nd EU-Russia summit took place in Brussels on 28 January 2014, was cut short to last only a few hours, and ended with the adoption of a joint statement on combating terrorism;

B.     whereas during the summit the EU and Russia agreed to pursue bilateral consultations at expert level on the Eastern Partnership Association Agreements and the economic consequences for both sides;

C.     whereas the negotiations on a new bilateral treaty between the EU and Russia are ongoing, with the stated goal of achieving a comprehensive and legally binding new Partnership and Cooperation Agreement;

D.     whereas the Constitution of the Russian Federation guarantees its citizens full rights and liberties; whereas Russia is member of the Council of Europe and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and signatory to numerous international treaties, including the European Convention on Human Rights, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights;

E.     whereas the institutional framework for cooperation is based on four Common Spaces, the Partnership for Modernisation (PfM), and twice-yearly human rights consultations;

F.     whereas the project of a Customs Union, which has been pursued by Russia together with Belarus and Kazakhstan since 2010, has not been achieved so far and is being used by Moscow as a geopolitical tool to exert pressure on countries of Eastern Europe and the Southern Caucasus;

G.     whereas Russia is exerting pressure on some of the EaP countries by using unresolved or frozen regional conflicts in which it plays or can play an active security role;

I.      whereas Russia continues to occupy the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali/South Ossetia, in violation of the fundamental norms and principles of international law; whereas the unresolved Russia-Georgia conflict is hampering the stability and development of Georgia;

J.      whereas the ongoing process of installation of barbed-wire fences and other artificial obstacles on the sovereign territory of Georgia across the occupation line in the Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions by the Russian occupation forces, in breach of the 12 August 2008 ceasefire agreement, is a serious challenge to security and stability in these regions, significantly affecting the livelihoods of the local population and impeding the exercise of their fundamental rights and freedoms;

K.     whereas Russia continues to violate the 2008 ceasefire agreement provisions, inter alia by persistent militarisation of Georgia’s occupied regions and adjacent areas, refusal to allow the European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM) to monitor the security situation inside the occupied regions as provided under its mandate, and blocking access for international organisations and human rights monitoring mechanisms to the occupied regions;

L.     whereas the preparations for the Sochi Winter Olympics have already been marred by bombings in Makhachkala, Pyatigorsk, Volgograd and Stavropol, as well as other serious security threats originating from the northern Caucasus;

M.    whereas with a view to the Olympics in Sochi, the Russian authorities have temporarily expanded the Russian border zone 11 kilometres deeper into the territory of Abkhazia;

N.     whereas corruption continues to be a major problem in Russia, which was ranked 127 out of 177 in the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index for 2013;

O.     whereas in the Russian Federation ruled by Vladimir Putin there is insufficient confidence in the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary, and judicial processes clearly do not meet internationally recognised standards and are often used in a politically motivated way;

P.     whereas independent non-governmental organisations and civil society activities are the cornerstones of democracy and modern society; whereas the new Duma legislation on civil activities has made the functioning of NGOs using foreign grants more difficult, giving them the status of ‘foreign agents’, as well as restoring the criminalisation of defamation’ and introducing the ability to block websites which appear to host inappropriate content; whereas the new law on civil society leads to freezing of changes in Russian society and limiting of its development, as well as impeding opposition activities by increasing their financial and political costs;

Q.     whereas freedom of speech is a major problem in Russia, which is ranked 148 out of 179 countries in the Reporters Without Borders index; whereas a proposal to extend the ‘foreign agents’ law to the mass media is to be put before the Duma; whereas such a law would allow the state to strictly control the media and would in practice restrict media freedom;

R.     whereas numerous concerns over human rights abuses have been raised in the context of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics; whereas harassment of civil-society activists who have been working to expose corruption and environmental damage and abuses against Sochi residents and migrant workers have been observed; whereas some EU and Member State officials have decided not to attend the Olympics in protest against human rights abuses;

S.     whereas a controversial law discriminating against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people has recently been adopted;

T.     whereas those responsible for the death of Sergei Magnitsky still remain free; whereas in October 2012 the European Parliament adopted a recommendation on targeted sanctions against the individuals involved in the death of Sergei Magnitsky and others responsible for serious violations of human rights and corruption in Russia;

U.     whereas Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev were released in December 2013 and January 2014 respectively after serving ten years in prison following two trials widely denounced as politically motivated, the first of which was declared unfair by the European Court of Human Rights; whereas Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, members of the feminist punk group Pussy Riot, were released in December 2013 under an amnesty marking the twentieth anniversary of the promulgation of the Russian constitution;

V.     whereas in December 2013 Russia threatened to impose a total ban on meat products from Austria, France, Germany and Poland;

1.      Notes the outcome of the 32nd EU-Russia summit, but is concerned that talks originally scheduled for two days lasted only a few hours;

2.      Stresses that the future development of EU-Russia relations will be dependent on the efforts to strengthen democracy, the rule of law and respect for fundamental rights in the Russian Federation;

3.      Is concerned about the idea of EU-Russia bilateral consultations at expert level on the Eastern Partnership Association Agreements; stresses that signing the Association Agreements with Eastern Partners may also be beneficial for Russia; stresses, however, that Russia is not part of the EaP and should not be treated as a party in any negotiations between the EU and its Eastern Partners;

4.      Strongly condemns the unfair pressure exerted by the Russian Federation on EaP countries; considers the means used by the Kremlin as being in breach of the normal standards of diplomacy and, in some cases, possibly of international law;

5.      Warns Russia that the instrumental use of unresolved conflicts for short-term political goals may lead to the resumption of hostilities and the destabilisation of the whole region;

6.      Remains concerned about Russian interference in the internal affairs of Ukraine, and calls on Russia to refrain from pressuring the authorities to act against the will of the Ukrainian people;

7.      Calls on the Russian Federation to fulfil unconditionally all the provisions of the 12 August 2008 ceasefire agreement, particularly the provision stating that Russia shall guarantee the EUMM full and unlimited access to the occupied territories of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali /South Ossetia; underscores the need to provide stability in the aforementioned regions of Georgia;

8.      Condemns Russian’s actions in the occupied territories of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali/South Ossetia, especially in creating barbed-wire fences, ditches and other artificial obstacles which significantly restrict the rights of the local population; calls on Russia to cease this process and to create conditions for the local population to fully exercise their fundamental rights and freedoms and facilitate people-to people contacts between the divided communities, as an essential ingredient for confidence-building;

9.      Expresses its concern at the move of shifting the Russian border 11 kilometres into Georgian territory; hopes that the Russian authorities will remain true to their word that this move is only temporary and will be reversed by 21 March 2014; calls on the High Representative/Vice-President to monitor the situation closely and to react should there be no changes in the situation after this date;

10.    Calls on Russia to reverse its recognition of the separation of the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali /South Ossetia and to fully respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia;

11.    Expresses concern at Russia’s repeated vetoing of the calls by the international community to address Chapter 7 of the UN Charter in the Security Council with respect to the civil war in Syria;

12.    Notes that the Partnership for Modernisation should not only include economic and technological issues and challenges, but also be based on wide-ranging cooperation, especially in the areas of the rule of law, protection of human rights and development of a reliable legal system;

13.    Is deeply concerned at the amendments introduced to the legislation governing NGOs in Russia by the law of 20 July 2012, which label as ‘non-commercial organisations performing the functions of a foreign agent’ NGOs receiving support from abroad, and calls on the Russian authorities to withdraw this legislation;

14.    Is deeply concerned at the deteriorating safety conditions in Chechnya and Dagestan;

15.    Expresses its dismay at the continuing lack of progress in bringing to justice those responsible for the deaths of individuals including Sergei Magnitsky, Natalia Estimirova, Anna Politkovskaya and Vasily Alexanian; urges the Council to consider and respond to Parliament’s recommendation of October 2012 calling for targeted EU sanctions against those identified as responsible for Magnitsky’s death and others implicated in gross violations of human rights;

16.    Welcomes the amnesty passed in December 2013 under which Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova were released; welcomes the release of Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev, and notes Khodorkovsky’s commitment to use his profile to campaign for the release of other political prisoners in Russia; expresses concern, notwithstanding these positive developments, at the extent and persistence of the political manipulation of justice in Russia;

17.    Strongly opposes the Russian threat to place an embargo on Austrian, French, German and Polish meat;

18.    Calls on the HR/VP and the Commission to provide support to NGOs, institutions and organisations monitoring human rights issues and the independence of the courts in the Russian Federation; calls on the EU to apply constant pressure on the Russian authorities to meet the OSCE standards on human rights, democracy, the rule of law and independence of the judiciary;

19.    Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States and the Government and Parliament of the Russian Federation.